Posted on 23rd November 2022
‘I used to cycle… I used to use it for work every morning, because there was no other way. I was out at half five in the morning, so there was no other mode of transport. I did that for 20 odd years.’
With 2 decades of experience in retail, and a lifelong knowledge and interest in bikes, Martin decided on a change during the pandemic.
‘I knew bikes from when I was fairly young, first bike ever was a Raleigh grifter. That was the first new bike I ever got. And from then, like ye learned how to fix, hadn’t got a choice. I used to fix everyone’s bike.’
While having extensive experience and knowledge of bikes in his personal life, he only recently decided to develop his skills into professional bike mechanics while exploring new career options, ‘I said yeah, I’ll have a go at that and I came down, and since then I love it. It’s something I like doing. It’s working with your hands all the time… you can get a bike here and a bike there that are completely different with what you have to do with them, so it’s a complete learning experience really. No bike is the same at all.’
‘I knew most of the basics when I first came here, but learned an awful lot since I was here, because of all the new gadgets, brakes, gears the whole lot. It’s all new ones coming out all the time, and you just keep having to learn and learn and learn, it’s the only way.’
With the increasing importance bikes play in transport around the city, Martin would like to see the inclusion of skills such as bike repair and maintenance in formal education, ‘should teach them in schools, fixing bikes. You can do woodwork and metalwork, you should do bike repairs as well, the basics.’
‘I love finding problems and fixing them, if I can, anything like that. That’s the best thing about bikes, any kind of problems at all.’
Keep an eye out for the next instalment of Humans of the Boiler House!
Rediscover Cycling traineeships are organised in conjunction with Pobal CSP.